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As you may now I have a dog named Sparkle. She is the cutest (and baddest) thing on four legs. She has her own Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. She even used to have her own blog before I merged it with mine…needless to say she takes a lot of pictures. Most of those pictures are/were candid or action shots, I snap while she is being super cute or getting into something she shouldn’t be. But when it’s time for us to take our posed portraits…it’s like all of her training and listening skills go out the window. Once, she literally took off running full speed for a solid 5 minutes before she came back…luckily, we were in an enclosed dog park. Photos with dogs can be tricky. So after that, I had to be a bit more strategic about how to get our pictures to come out right and keep my beloved doggie in check. So here are some of my secrets to taking holiday photos with dogs.
- Keep it simple. I had to learn this because I’m a naturally over the top person. The first staged shoot I organized for Sparkle, I had several outfit changes and accessories for her. She quickly got annoyed with me after the first two. Dogs have a super short attention span and can get overwhelmed very quickly. It’s best to make it as easy as possible for them. Sparkle had one really cute outfit this time and that’s it.
- Choose a location without distractions. I thought I had learned my lesson after the dog park fiasco, for our holiday photos, I chose a shopping center with a cute pond and greenery area before it opened. There were a few people there but not many. There were also ducks. They were quacking and flapping and Sparkle was terrified. There were a couple shots of her looking over at the ducks because she was both curious as to what they were and terrified they were going to get her. It’s best to be in a super quiet location since dogs are easily distracted.
- Pack treats. Dogs love food. Sparkle especially. I usually pack one or two treats and a zip-loc bag of dry food. Sparkle eats Purina Beneful Incredibites so I pack some away and reward her throughout the photo shoot. I’m not sure if I’ve said this before but Sparkle is really greedy and when she gets a treat, she starts acting wild, so I usually only pack one or two of Purina Beggin Strips and hide them somewhere on my person. This works so well because Sparkle smells them on me but doesn’t know where they are so she doesn’t run away from me. Kroger always has really deals on dog food (and other stuff too) so I usually pick it up from there.
- Go with the flow. Dogs can be completely unpredictable especially in new environments. It doesn’t matter how much obedience training they have if they don’t feel like doing something, there is a good chance they won’t. Sparkle sat and stared at the water for several minutes and would not move. We took that as an opportunity to get some individual shots of her. Just keep snapping, cute photos will come out of it!
- Let your dog rest after. Dogs have great memories. (You know how they act when you take them to the groomer or boarding facility). They will remember cameras, making a big fuss, and they will definitely remember the location if you use it again. Be sure to reward them with rest (and treats) so that this becomes normal to them. I ran errands with Sparkle for the rest of the day and she could not keep her head up (which was good for me) but it’s probably best to take them back home to a comfortable environment and let them rest. Dogs sleep for 16-18 hours a day so we don’t want to throw off that awesome sleeping schedule they have. (Wink-Wink)
I’m really excited about how our Christmas pictures will turn out! The holidays are such a special time for families. A time to enjoy each other, be thankful, and eat lots of yummy food. I never want to leave Sparkle out so I make sure to feed her the best food possible. I pride myself on raising a posh pup so I only buy products that reflect her super spoiled lifestyle. Here is some inspiration for feeding your spoiled/posh pups. Purina has a ton of products that she enjoys, especially those Beggin Strips, that are designed for us dog owners who modern and on the go. Since, it’s the season of giving, I’m sharing a coupon so you can share the Purina love with your pets too, while supplies last.
Are you taking family photos this holiday season? This can’t be all of the tips, please share yours!